Afghanistan. Haiti. Covid. Forest fires. Hurricanes. Politics.
The news weighs heavy on my heart. Some people might say “Stop listening to it.” I’ve thought about doing that, but turning off the news only provides temporary relief. It soothes my soul for a little while, but it doesn’t change the reality that’s out there.
Reality is that we’re living in uncertain times. Confusion and chaos reign. People are desperate for calm and peace and a safe space. People need hope.
In the wake of all the negative stuff happening, I want to suggest doing something to keep hope alive: host a celebration.
You might be thinking, “Whaaat?” Hear me out, okay?
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly commanded His people to celebrate. Exodus 12:17 gives a specific example: “Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent regulation for you to be kept from generation to generation.”
God knew that His people would face battles as they entered and possessed the Promised Land. Hardships would test their faith time and time again. Hope would wear thin, but consistently reviewing and celebrating His faithfulness in the past would keep hope alive.
Celebrating God’s faithfulness is good for the soul.
It reminds us that He has brought us through difficulties in the past, and He’ll do it again. He has not changed—He is still strong enough, wise enough, and loving enough to carry us through the battles we face today.
So—how can we celebrate God’s faithfulness?
Here’s one idea: If current restrictions allow you to meet with friends, then invite a group and ask them to come prepared to share a story about God’s faithfulness in the past. Depending on how many people come, you might want to ask them to limit their stories to 3-5 minutes so everyone has a chance to share. Include your children and grandchildren so they can hear these testimonies.
This is a celebration, so make it fun. You might choose to decorate the room or outdoor venue with a few streamers or balloons. Begin with a couple of fun icebreakers. If one of your friends is musically inclined, ask her to lead a couple of praise choruses. Serve a cake or ice cream with a variety of sundae toppings (ask your friends to bring a specific topping to spread the work around).
If restrictions don’t allow an in-person celebration, then host it online. You can still do icebreakers and use decorations to make it fun. And snacks? Well, they’ll be bring-your-own.
Do you have other ideas for keeping hope alive? If so, what are they?
What story about God’s faithfulness in the past can you share with us?